Islamabad United coach Dean Jones said on Wednesday that Sharjeel Khan’s two dot balls that was played in a Pakistan Super League match was not suspicious from a cricketing perspective. The allegation is related to a match played between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi held in Dubai in February, in which Sharjeel scored a single off four deliveries including two dots.
The Pakistan Cricket Board accused him of agreeing to a spot-fixing plan and thus playing the two dot balls. He is further accused of failing to report offers to fix which are charges that, if proven, could land Shajeel a ban of five years or to life.
Sharjeel’s lawyer Shaigan Aijaz, who is representing him at a closed-door tribunal, is quoted as saying that Jones “has told the tribunal hat Sharjeel played dot balls on merit and that he has no eservations about Sharjeel’s shot selection.”
The first of the two balls in question was punched to over point, while the second was driven to mid-off.
A second lawyer familiar with the proceedings confirmed Jones’ testimony, which took place via Skype, adding that the former Australia star told the tribunal Sharjeel was naturally weaker on his offside and less likely to score in that zone.
Spot-fixing involves attempting to determine the outcome of a specific part of a match rather than the overall result, and is therefore harder to detect than match-fixing.
Bowlers Mohammad Irfan and Mohammad Nawaz, who also featured in the second edition of the Twenty20 tournament have so far been suspended for failing to report offers to fix.
The fate of batsmen Khalid Latif, Nasir Jamshed and Shahzaib Hasan has yet to be decided.
Taffazul Rizvi, a lawyer for the PCB, added that Jones said he could not speak to whether any of his players had been approached by bookmakers.
“He said that he would be upset if he knows that his players were involved and that players are briefed about fixing through lectures,” he said.